“Will cross rural Argentina off the list of holiday destinations, in much the same way that Deliverance did for North Georgia.”
I have no problem with rape/revenge movies, providing the balance is skewed more towards the revenge than the rape. Ms. 45, for example, has about five minutes of rape and 60 of revenge. This is fine by me. I am all about the revenge, which should be nasty and brutal, exactly what sexual predators deserve. Actually, so should the rape be, because portraying it any other way is very, very questionable. But that’s something which hardly needs depicting: I’m quite happy taking it as read, thank you very much. Here, the depicted brutalization of four young women goes on far longer than necessary to serve any point.
They appear to be heading home from college – it’s a bit vague – when they see a girl lying beside her bike, injured at the side of the road, and some men with guns nearby, who might just be hunters…or might not be. The women load her into the car, only for the victim to die before they reach the next time. They report it to the two-man police force, who seem less that enthusiastic about investigating. As they leave town, they find themselves being chased by the hunters’ truck, and it’s soon very apparent that their intentions are very, very unpleasant.
To be honest, I largely tuned out the middle portion of this, for reasons explained earlier. That said, when the tables are finally turned, it is certainly satisfying, especially in the final moments of vengeance. Bogliano takes his time in all aspects, which is a double-edged sword: some scenes benefit from the unflinching approach, such as the filling in of a grave, which unfolds in real time and is chilling viewing. However, others are simply dull and pointless, for example, the one where one of the girls goes into a bathroom, smokes a cigarette, changes her shirt and leaves. Really. That’s it. There’s a serious lack of characterization as well, to the point that it’s hard to care too much about the victims, as you’ve been given no reason to do so, or insight into their characters.
The film does improve markedly in the final reel, though this may be as much due to my personal prejudices as any actual change in the direction. But the revenge is certainly memorable, in particular the use of a strand of barbed-wire, in another sequence where Bogliano’s unblinking camera lens comes out as a positive. Much credit is due to all the actresses involved, for going to hell and back in the name of their cinematic art, and the overall impact is certainly better than some of the entries in the genre, as linked below. However, it may simply be too brutal, and the tuning-out mentioned above is something likely to be experienced in an even greater degree by viewers that are more sensitive than I.
Dir: Adrián García Bogliano
Star: Gimena Blesa, Magdalena De Santo, Andrea Duarte, Andres Aramburu
a.k.a. No Morire Sola